The ‘South Park’ Season Finale Hints At A Big Change For The Series

There’s a difference between an album and a collection of songs. With the Beatles is the latter — you could rearrange the tracks in the order, and nothing of value would be lost. Unlike Abbey Road, which has a flow and rhythm to it; “Sun King” might be boring, but it’s a necessary break before the breathless medley. Take it out, and the album isn’t nearly as effective.

South Park used to be With the Beatles, with little continuity from week-to-week (Kenny would die in every episode), but in season 20, the foul-mouthed animated series has turned into Abbey Road. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker embraced serialization because, honestly, they got bored — they still loved fart jokes, but they wanted the farts to serve a purpose. This season hasn’t had a single side adventure, like the boys convincing Tom Cruise to come out of the closet, or throwing a Little League game. Cartman has been too busy trying to escape to Mars, and Kyle saving his dad from Danish trolls.

The plot description for Wednesday’s season finale reads, “As Trolltrace goes live, Sheila logs on to see Gerald’s on-line activity. At SpaceX, Cartman tries to convince the scientists that going to Mars is a bad idea. And defying their mom, Kyle and Ike get all the kids together to try to save the world from certain destruction.” But that’s not the interesting part — the name of the episode is: “The End of Serialization As We Know It.” Will next season go back to random episodes, with the focus on Awesom-O one week and the Jeffersons the next? We’ll find out tonight or, more likely, sometime in 2017.

‘Member when South Park was serialized?